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Google gets in on April Fool's Day early; Google Nose and Space Station
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 04/01/13 4:25 am | updated: 04/01/13 5:12 am
Google has gotten in on the April's Fools Day shenanigans a little early this year. The jokes are subtle and not so obvious. One is public and the other is hidden in an enterprise tool.

First off, you may notice a new google tool along the top with the usual suspects of Images, Maps, News, Gmail, etc. This one was just sitting there, innocuous enough, without any fanfare and called "Nose beta". What new google product could this be? Especially since Google Labs has been discontinued. Well, you can tell it's a big farce as soon as you click on it. If you don't see the link, just click here.

Think of Google Nose as Smell-o-Vision for Search. Google with the power of AromaRama. Just search for anything and click to have the smell delivered to your laptop, smartphone, desktop or whatever. In concept that could make shopping for coffee blends or perfume online better. Search for "Hawaii" and get the sweet tropical scent of the islands. Search for "pet adoption" and well it may just smell... Of course, your laptop can't spit out odors so when it tells you to lean it closer, don't expect anything. (see picture)

Google's second bit of April Foolery was hidden a bit deeper and was definitely one for the engineers. Many webmasters utilize Google Analytics to get statistics about their websites. If you look at the real-time stats of your site you can get a fairly detailed view of what pages are being viewed and what cities in the world are accessing them. Sometimes you see an outlier on the map, a visitor from some part of the world that usually doesn't fit and it can catch your eye and make you excited that you are reaching a new audience.

Tonight, the Google Analytics team played a big trick on anyone looking at their real-time stats. They put a big dot on the map. This was definitely a strange one because it was moving and it had an abnormal amount of visitors from one city. To my surprise when you hovered over it, the city said, "International Space Station - Control Room". Was someone flying around space really looking at my website right now!? That would have been really cool. But a tip-off that it was a joke was that it said "Active Visitors: 41". There aren't 41 people on the ISS. When you go in for more details it does say "April Fool's". (see picture below)

Don't forget to check out "Treasure Map" Mode on Google Maps. (see photo below) They claim to have found and digitized the maps of infamous pirate William Captain Kidd. Use the map and decode the symbols to find the treasure.

Google's biggest joke of the day (most probably) came with their declaration that they'd be closing 8-year-old YouTube. The premise being that YouTube was created to find the best video in the world and the past years have just been a giant submission contest. They are now going to go through an arduous process to determine the winner that will take 10 years. The winner will be announced in 2023. Watch the video below.

I'm sure there'll be a lot of jokes, pranks, false news, etc. throughout the day. Have fun, be skeptical, don't be cynical, and April Fool's!!

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(2) responses


 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 04/01 4:25 am


 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 04/01 5:12 am


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